Years ago I studied classical composition. After fiddling about for a year or so, I took lessons with an established composer. As part of my lessons I wrote a little “classical sonata”. It was more or less in a Mozart style, though perhaps it was closer to Clementi. If you don’t know Clementi, look him up! Although there are shining moments on this “sonatina”, I wasn’t satisfied. Continue reading →
I took two of the miniatures from my composition “Child’s Play” and rearranged them a little. Actually the biggest rearrangement is making the super simple starting piece, “Happy Feet”, a little more complex by having it modulate from the key of G to the key of D. When you hear it again at the end, that is how it is in “Child’s Play, Book 1”. Actually, that piece, “Happy Feet”, is based on one of the first things I ever wrote, back when I was a Freshman or Sophomore in college. I broke a few counterpoint rules at the time, which were fixed when I added it to “Child’s Play, Book 1”. Continue reading →
I have been bad and have not touched a musical instrument since the beginning of the year. This week I ended that drought. A small level, I picked up my trumpet for the first time in ages and was surprised that I could still do pretty well with it. But more than that, I played the piano at least a little every day. Not a lot and nothing great. First, I have a few ditties I always play when the dogs eat – for a while they wouldn’t start eating until I started to play! But I also just played. Not really “practicing”, just going through a few songs and things and improvising a little. I won’t be giving a recital any time soon, but it was fun.
A little side note – I have written before that I have a hard time keeping up on more than one art, so the deeper I am into writing, the harder it is for me to keep up with anything else. I have maybe 2,000 photos that I haven’t touched – it’s been over a year! And I haven’t written any new music since I did the real fast recording back for my Korg Arp review, and for that I literally just turned on the recorded and improvised. So it is nice that I am starting to get back into playing – I have a really hard time not having music in my life.
That is my smile for the week, getting back into the groove of playing the piano after not playing for almost two months. Continue reading →
When I started my deep study of music I had CDs from over a dozen different 20th century composers. I had over a dozen CDs by JS Bach. I had over a dozen CDs from Medieval and Renaissance time periods. I had zero, none, not a single Beethoven CD. In the rock world in which I grew up Beethoven was the greatest villain. That’s really odd because he was a rebel in so many ways. He lived the rock and roll spirit in so many ways.
I did several deep study’s of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. The last time I spent months going over his string quartets one note at a time. I poured over the scores to the symphonies. I ate the piano sonatas for breakfast. I went out and tried to find ever last scrap of music he created, published, or like many, never published in his life time. There is no doubt he was the greatest master of all times, even beating out my favorite, Bach. Continue reading →
Several years ago I wrote a set of 24 preludes in all major and minor keys. In some future post I will talk a bit more about the series including why I (stupidly) chose the order they’re in. For now I want to concentrate on just one prelude, the Prelude in Ab Major.
Listen to the track below. Don’t read on until you’ve listened.
I recently put together a slide show of some of the pictures I took while I was in Paris in 2011 and set them to my Prelude in Ab Major. The music is supposed to be dreamy, wistful and full of longing. Yes, I’d like to return to Paris. I’ve spent more time in this fabulous city that in any but a handful of cities in the world yet I’m always ready to return.
A little over a year ago I put up a post about my Prelude in Ab. If you like the music in the video at all you should check out some of the background. Reading this post will also let you know why it ends on a question mark: Prelude in Ab Major
Several years ago I followed an online music forum. One of the things we did was post music we had written. Somebody once posted a simple piece that had only two chords, the tonic and dominant (for non-musicians, a lot of western folk music has little more than these two chords, in the key of C it would by the C chord and the G chord). This music was written for a music theory class to demonstrate the use of the dominant. I read the description and listen to the music. A light bulb came on. Continue reading →
Years ago I was improvising at the piano and came up with a dark march in 5/4 time. I know, but it worked. I wrote it down as best I could and later worked it out into a finished piece of music. I called this dark ditty “Remembrance”. Continue reading →